Coalition for Baccalaureate and Graduate Respiratory Therapy Education

The 2015 Papers


"Medicine is continually changing, with new approaches to disease management emerging almost daily. Third-party payers are challenging payment for iatrogenic injury and some established therapies. Manpower issues, including aging of the workforce, are affecting all medical disciplines. To address these issues the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) established a task force to “envision the RT of the future.” The goal of was to identify potential new roles and responsibilities for respiratory therapists in the year 2015 and beyond, and to suggest the elements of education, training, and competency-documentation needed to assure safe and effective practice. It was decided to hold a series of 3 conferences. The objective of the first conference was to identify the emerging values of the United States’ evolving health-care delivery system; and to define potential new roles and responsibilities of respiratory therapists in 2015 and beyond." (From Kacmarek RM, Durbin CG, Barnes TA, Kageler WV, Walton JR, O'Neil EH. Creating a vision for respiratory care in 2015 and beyond. 2009 Mar;54(3):375-89.) The findings of the first conference are presented in this paper that can be accessed by clicking: 2015 Conference 1

The goal of the second task force conference was to identify specific competencies needed to assure safe and effective execution of RT roles and responsibilities in the future. The education needed by the workforce to assume the new responsibilities emerging as the healthcare system changes starts with a close look at the competencies that will be needed by graduate RTs upon entry into practice in 2015 and beyond. Future specialty practice areas for experienced RTs are identified in the AARC 2015 Conference 2 paper without defining specific competencies. (From Barnes TA, Gale DD, Kacmarek RM, Kageler WV. Competencies needed by graduate respiratory therapists in 2015 and beyond. Respir Care. 2010 May;55(5):601-16). Click the following link to access this paper: 2015 Conference 2

The third task force conference was charged with creating plans to change the professional education process so that respiratory therapists are able to achieve the needed skills, attitudes, and competencies identified in the previous conferences. Transition plans were developed by participants after review and discussion of the outcomes of the first two conferences and 1,011 survey responses from respiratory therapy department managers and respiratory therapist education program directors. This is a report of the recommendations of the third task force conference held July 12-14, 2010, on Marco Island, Florida. The participants, who represented groups concerned with respiratory therapist education, licensure, and practice, proposed, discussed, and accepted that to be successful in the future a baccalaureate degree must be the minimum entry level for respiratory care practice. Also accepted was the recommendation that the Certified Respiratory Therapist examination be retired, and instead, passing of the Registered Respiratory Therapist examination will be required for beginning clinical practice. A date of 2020 for achieving these changes was proposed, debated, and accepted. Recommendations were approved requesting resources be provided to help RT education programs, existing respiratory therapist workforce, and state societies work through the issues raised by these changes (From Barnes TA, Kacmarek RM, Kageler WV, Morris MJ, Durbin CG. Transitioning the Respiratory Therapy Workforce for 2015 and Beyond. Respir Care 2011;56(5):681-690). Click the following link to access the paper: 2015 Conference 3

In May of 2010, the 2015 Research Group surveyed Directors of accredited respiratory therapist programs in the United States. The intent of this survey was to identify the program directors’ opinions on their current and future ability to insure that their graduating students were meeting the 67 competencies in the eight categories that were identified by the second conference as necessary for graduates in 2015 and beyond. In addition, program directors were asked to provide their opinions on the required length of respiratory therapist programs in 2015 and beyond, the educational needs of practicing therapists beyond entry and the credential needed by graduating therapists in 2015 and beyond (From Barnes TA, Kacmarek RM, Durbin CG. Survey of Respiratory Therapy Educational Programs in the United States. Respir Care 2011; EPub April 29, 2011). To access this paper click on: 2015 Survey 1

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